April 24, 2007

A Poetic Jewel

By now, dear reader, the entire world knows that this humble “website” is sponsoring its Fourth Annual Horrible College-Student Poetry Competition (details of which you can read here). Thanks to the promotional efforts of numerous friendly “webloggers,” the news has zipped around Al Gore’s Internet with such speed that we have already received a goodly number of contest submissions.

And yet, dear reader, we think we can rake in a few more. After all, if you ask us, pretty much everyone has some bad pseudo-collegiate verse in them. We can all get in touch with our Inner Tyro.

Perhaps we need merely offer a bit of inspiration. In today’s humble “post,” then, we aim to exhort a submission out of you through highlighting some delightfully insipid verse.

About a decade ago, one of the most prominent pop stars was a woman simply called Jewel. Although we never fell for her charms—or even recognized them—we recall that on occasion we were in the distinct minority. For a short period of time, Jewel was commercial pseudo-folk music’s answer to the wheel.

Remember all the lore about Jewel? She was from Alaska. She spent 43 years in a trailer before hitting the big time. Her parents were made out of hemp.

Well, we’re not sure we got all of that right, but you get the point. Jewel was It.

Under the circumstances, someone or other graciously encouraged the Mighty Jewel to publish poetry. Yep, it wasn’t bad enough that she sullied the airwaves and department stores with saccharine love calls. Nope: She needed to take up the quill and play the role of Hart Crane.

To disastrous results, of course. As such, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that a snippet of Jewel’s verse will inspire the inner college sophomore in all of you, and compel you to enter a poem in our contest. Granted, Jewel was not attending a university when she wrote her poesy; still, we think her doggerel displays many of the charms one associates with bad collegiate verse.

Here, for example, is her entire poem “Las Vegas”:

Women who suck
their cigarettes
as though they were
giving their
hatred head

Wooo: That’s, like, so, like, deep. Boy, those gals must really like Marlboro Lights.

And, if you thought “Las Vegas” was great, just check out another Jewel magnum opus, entitled “Untitled”:

There is a pretty girl on the Face of the magazine And all I see is my dirty hands turning the page

Little breasts attached to
skinny ribs and hungry bellies
determined legs
persuasive swing
careful hands
she stands
a greater threat to herself
than the cigarette
she consumes

Man, talk about sticking up for the average gal! Jewel can’t stand those thin, pretty girls in magazines, and she’s not afraid to show it in verse.

Oddly, though, we seem to recall that Jewel herself became a popular phenomenon in large part because she was thin and pretty. We’re not arguing that she doesn’t possess “dirty hands,” but we’re not sure that an ode to female unattractiveness is best offered by the likes of fetching, blonde-haired Jewel.

Think, dear reader, that you can do better? If so—and even if not—we officially encourage you to enter our official Fourth Annual Horrible College-Student Poetry Competition. After all, everyone’s a poet in college.

Posted at April 24, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack